Adams County - Genealogy Trails










The F. E. ‘S of Adams County

An Assortment of Historical Facts, Ancient and Modern

Gleanings From The Early Records

First Events, Political, Judicial and Special—

Height, Breadth and Location – The Camping Ground and Home of Noted Men

    Juanita, Nebraska, February 12 . – This vast territory was held by France upon the claims of their celebrated countryman La Salle, way back in 1682, and called by him Louisiana, then transferred for a time to Spain, then again to France in 1800, and finally by purchase to the United States in 1803, out of which was carved Adams County in the year 1867.

    Adams is in the second tier of counties north of the Kansas line and 120 miles west of the Missouri. It consists of townships 5, 6, 7 and 8 in ranges 9, 10, 11 and 12, almost midway between the fortieth and forty first degrees of north latitude and the twentieth and twenty first degrees of west longitude, embracing 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres of land. The elevation above sea level at Juanita is about 1,920 feet. The famous Louis and Clarke’s exploring expedition crossed the country, as well as those of the “Pathfinder,” John C. Fremont. This country has been the home of many noted scouts, trappers and guides, among which were Kit Carson, Wild Bill, California Joe and others. Adams County was organized for judicial and executive purposes December 12, 1871.

    Adams County has the famous tone well known as the “old government well,” located about two miles east of Kanesaw, dug in 1849, by someone to sell water to the gold hunters on their way across the plains to California. It was 100 feet deep, curbed from bottom to the top with logs hauled from the Blue River. One morning in the early 50s the proprietor of the well was massacred by the Indians and the water poisoned. Soon after, Mr. Harte and his family stopped and drank of the poisoned water, and the following night Mrs. Harte died and was buried on the old trail not far away, known as the "lone Grave.”

    The first regular meeting of the county commissioners was held January 2, 1872, adjourned to meet January 16, 1872, at Juanita, then the county seat. W. Selleck and S. L. Brass were commissioners and Titus Babcock deputy county clerk. The first term of district court in Adams County was opened May 6, 1863, in the school in Juniata, Judge Daniel Gantt presiding, with Russell S. Langley as sheriff and R. D. Babcock clerk. The first grand jury was composed of Ira G. Dillon, Harmon H. Ballaw, W. H. Burr, R. D. Carrier, George Dade, John Huston, Clark Morrison, Edward Moore, C. B. Nelson, James Marsh, John Plank, Abraham Parks and C. W. Wilton. The first suit presented was that of Edna H. Bowen vs the Challenge Mill Company; another was the consideration of admitting James Laird to the bar of this state. B. F. Smith and Titus Babcock were admitted to the bar, June 15, 1880, H. A. Moreland, Joseph A. Robertson and sixty two others presented a petition for the incorporation of the village of Juniata. It was granted and the first trustees wore S. T. Brass, Ira G. Dillon, H. E. Wells, E. M. Allen and L. F. Pickerd. In 1877, after many hard fought contests, the county seat was moved from Juniata to Hastings.

    The first deaths that occurred in Adams County were two men named Robbins and Lumas, in 1870, who were murdered by a man named Jake Hynes.

    The first couple married after settling here was Eben Wright and Susan Gates. Mr. Kress took them to Grand Island, October 10, 1870, where the ceremony was performed. The first marriage that took place in the county was Roderick Lomas and Lila Warrick, the ceremony being performed by the bride’s father, John Warwick. He also preached the first sermon in Mr. Kress’ log house, in 1870. The first child born in the county was to Frank Lucy and wife in 1870. The first load of grain was hauled to Hastings in 1873 by W. S. Mount.

    F. M. Lucy entered the first homestead in Adams County, March 5, 1870; J. R. Carter was the third person to enter land in our county, and his wife, Elizabeth, was the first white woman to make a home here. The first precinct named in the county was “Juniata,” second, Little Blue.

    The first newspaper in Adams Count was the Gazette, by C. C. Babcock.

    The first deed recorded was that of John and Margaret Stark, to Charles F. Morse, dated October 31, 1871 , for the northeast quarter of section 123 and 7, range 11, in consideration of $500.

    The Adams County Agricultural Society was organized at Juniata, March 9, 1874, with E. M. Allen, president.

    The first school in Adams County was opened one mile south of Juniata in 1872, by Miss Emma Leonard, and the same year in Juniata by Miss Lizzie Scott.

    B. F. H.

    The Omaha Daily Bee
    Sunday, February 1892